Confidence and Self Esteem

Is Being Shy Bad? The Answer Will Surprise You…

is being shy bad
Written by Sean Cooper

One thing I often hear from shy people is “I like being shy” or “There’s nothing wrong with being shy.” Is it true?

Do people think there’s something wrong with being shy? Or is it perfectly normal?

Should you just accept that shyness is the way you are and try to live with it, or should you try to change it if possible?

I’ll answer these questions in this article, but first I’ll start by saying:

You Don’t HAVE To Overcome Shyness

You do not HAVE to overcome shyness if you don’t want to. Being shy does not make you an inferior person. In fact, you don’t HAVE to do anything in life you don’t want to. It’s completely your choice whether you think it’s an issue you need to overcome or not.

I think that’s one reason people say “there’s nothing wrong with being shy.” They don’t want to be forced into doing something because of some moral obligation.

So does this mean that you should just accept being shy?

If you want to, then yes. BUT!… The answer isn’t really that simple for most people.

Most Shy People Are Lying To Themselves

Most people who are shy and say things like “I like being shy” are often actually UNSATISFIED with their social life and amount of confidence. They actually HATE being lonely and isolated and having very few friends. They HATE being scared out of their mind when they have to speak in front of many people. And they HATE that they can’t talk to that girl or guy they like.

So it’s not that they “like being shy.” They WANT to be someone who isn’t shy, and they are just using their “love of shyness” as an EXCUSE for not having the courage to face their fears directly.

They say things like “I like being shy” or “I don’t have to do something I don’t want to” as a way to make them feel better about caving into their fears and to feel better about sitting around the house all day not even trying to do anything that will move them towards a better future.

You Do WANT To Overcome Shyness

The question to ask yourself is: Do you actually like your shyness or do you want to change it?

I think that, for you, the answer is straightforward. Just look at yourself. Would you be reading this article if you really liked to be shy?

There’s all the proof you need.

Although you don’t HAVE to overcome shyness, it’s a very good thing to WANT to do. Don’t try to overcome shyness because you see it as a defect you HAVE to get rid of to make other people like you. Instead, do it because you WANT to do it, to improve your own quality of life.

Not Bad, But Not Beneficial Either

The reason to overcome shyness is not because it’s bad, but simply because it is not beneficial to you. It lowers your quality of life.

There’a a song called “Ask” by “The Smiths” that goes like this:

Shyness is nice and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You’d like to

Realize that being shy is not a benefit. It holds you back from so many important things in life — friends, sex and success, among others.

People who are shy are usually lonely and isolated. They often have very few, if any, friends. They usually have very low self esteem and see themselves as loners and losers.

Look around you and see how there are so many people trying to be more confident and social, but nobody is trying to become more scared and introverted. There’s no advantage to it.

So the reason why you should try to get rid of your shyness is because it is ADVANTAGEOUS to you.

But What About Self-Acceptance?

One other thing I’m often told is “but isn’t it important to accept yourself despite your faults?”

And yes, I think self acceptance is very important to have a healthy self esteem. Acceptance means that you feel no shame for any part of yourself.

  • You aren’t ashamed that you are shy right now.
  • You aren’t ashamed about any part of your physical appearance. Instead of constantly looking in mirrors to “check” your appearance, you accept it.
  • You aren’t ashamed even if you are less popular or attractive than someone else.
  • You aren’t ashamed that you have little friends or social life, and you don’t try to “hide” it from people thinking they’ll brush you off if they “found out.”

Becoming completely unashamed of who you are is an important step in overcoming many issues shy people face, such as inferiority.

But there’s a difference between being unashamed and simply being lazy and hopeless. The thing I’m against is when someone gives up going after something they want and then uses “self acceptance” as an excuse for their lack of courage.

If you are ready to stop making excuses and find out the REAL strategies that work at overcoming shyness fast, I wrote a killer ebook called “The Shyness and Social Anxiety System” to help you finally get this part of your life handled for good.

Go back to the How To Overcome Shyness series.

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About the author

Sean Cooper

I study all areas of psychology, sharing what works (and what doesn't) for overcoming shyness and social anxiety. After curing my own severe social anxiety I created "The Shyness and Social Anxiety System" to help others. This program has received stunning reviews from psychologists and people like you.

Now it's my life's mission is to help 25,000 people get the confidence, friends and romantic partner you want!

Read more about me here.


  • I guess I have always been a shy person. In 5 grade I was only mute, but then I moved to Texas and grew older. I realized that I didnt want to be shy anymore. In fact I HATED being shy. I want more friends, more fun experiences, I want to feel free to do what I please. So, I ve been online searching for solutions for this shyness. By far I love this article because its real and true. Sometimes I would give the “I need to accept myself” excuse but I still felt bad. Im working on improving my social life. Its gonna be hard, but when I reach my goal Ill be happy as hell. I dont have to live for peoples approvals, them bitches can surve!!! :)

  • “People who are shy are usually lonely and isolated.”
    Maybe some are. Not all.

    “They often have very few, if any, friends.”
    On the other hand, there are plenty of shy people with friends – and being introverted often means that you don’t “need” so many friends. It wouldn’t be hard to find outgoing, confident people who lack friends (either because they are incapable of becoming more than acquaintances or because they’re crazy/weird and scare people away).

    “They usually have very low self esteem and see themselves as loners and losers.”
    Not universally true. But this seems like a chicken-or-egg thing. I’m inclined to say that the larger part of this point really stems from constant bombardment with the idea that being shy means you are insecure, lacking in confidence, unable to make friends, unsociable, and a “loser”. Existence of counter-examples validates this, and of course it’s not difficult to find all sorts of analogous situations – media propagates all sorts of views, and once they take hold (either because they seem appealing or because they do carry some grain of truth) the paradigm tends to be self-reinforcing. But that doesn’t make it accurate.

    “Look around you and see how there are so many people trying to be more confident and social, but nobody is trying to become more scared and introverted. There’s no advantage to it.”
    Again, as above – precisely because people are encouraged to stop being shy, does it seem that there is no benefit to shyness. The repeated statements that people need to be more extroverted and outgoing don’t really allow for any other thought unless one deliberately departs from that perspective. Striving to become “more confident and social” can be good if there is a deficiency in these traits that is having some identifiable negative effect. But then there are also negatives that come with losing shyness (and the other way around, positives that come with being more reserved/quiet – but of course you’ve used “scared”, which generally is a negative, as you main trait). Is it good to be more confident and social when you’re over-estimating yourself or letting your social life prevent success at work? Is it bad to be scared when there’s actually something to be scared of? Shy people have some advantages, those who aren’t shy have some advantages, and both types of person (and whatever’s in between) can function in society. What we need to do is stop pretending that shyness is a bad thing – because once we do realise that it can be good, we will open ourselves up to gain the benefits that it can bring, whether it is us or others who are shy.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Michael. You definitely make a good point that self acceptance is very important for everyone’s happiness.

      But beyond self acceptance, many people also want to improve their life situation because it’s unfulfilling. It’s these people who tend to come to my website. People who are perfectly happy being shy or socially anxious are free to stay that way. My goal isn’t to motivate everyone to change who they are.

      I’m hoping to reach the people who are ready and eager to overcome their shyness or social anxiety, but simply don’t know how.

  • Skipped the article just to say OF COURSE ITS BAD!! conversation anxiety is the worst psychological rut to be in. I’m in it atm and trying so hard to get out.

  • For Christ sakes there’s nothing wrong with being shy! Oh man shy people can’t sit with strangers and listen to their bullshit! Oh fucking no Jesus what in the world are you gonna do?! Live your pathetic, overly social life and stop worrying about shy people for a change! We’re proud to be shy cause you know why, we don’t need strangers around us all the time, and sorry, but I have better things to do then talk with idiots and listen to their boring stories. Like who the fuck cares if your having problems with your husband? No one you stupid cunt! I’m proud to be different and if you think some snot nosed little fuck like you is gonna stop me you got another thing coming! I don’t need friends to boss me around or try to change me, had enough of that bullshit in high school! If you wanna be like everyone else fine go ahead, just don’t expect me to follow ya. You cunts laugh at me because I’m different, yeah well I laugh because your all the same! And if you wanna spend the rest of your life trying to change people, then you can just drop FUCKING DEAD!

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